Friend-Dumped

Breaking up is hard to do. But what about when it’s with your ride or die best friend?

04.08.15
friend-dumped-1

I sat parked in the driveway of my best friend’s house. Memories of videos that we filmed in that very spot played back on loop before Vine was even a thing. She was the only one who knew about my back hair and still allowed me to wear a bikini beside her in public. She invited me over for empanadas when I was sick of eating eggplant parm. If you’ve ever seen Scrubs, she was the Turk to my J.D.
I invested everything into our friendship — including the eyebrows she offered to “trim” — yet here she was, dumping me for spending too much time with my boyfriend.

He was my first fling, the only boy I swore I would ever adore at the end of a summer set to Guitar Hero ballads. She remained my best friend but tensions eventually grew: she was relentless in her belief that before I was “his,” I’d been “hers.”

I was her school dance paper doll that she weighed down with enormous hoop earrings. She washed away my booze virginity with lukewarm hard lemonades in exhange for her “respect.” It was she who introduced me to my sweatshirt-ed soul mate; how ironic that Turk’s meddling in my primitive love life broke her own heavy-handed lease on my heart.

And now, I was returning her stuff.

Ghosts of our past slithered out from a box of personal belongings that I was delivering upon her request. My father, the presiding undertaker of this funeral (bound by my driver’s permit), cued a dirge of smooth jazz as I descended onto the graveyard of Domino’s deliveries.

I marched towards the cardboard coffin’s final place of rest when my gaze met hers through a translucent window curtain. There she stood, casting pity upon my grief from the shadows of her bedroom as I buried our friendship’s remains on her front stoop.

I could have groveled for forgiveness or flipped an epic double bird. But I did neither. Instead, I bid adieu to mix CDs, Sims games and tokens of our past, then returned to the hearse and drove off solemnly after executing an assisted five-point turn.

My eyes stopped watering and my brows filled in eventually, but the weight of a sterling silver “Best” without its “Friend” remained a heavy half-heart to bear. Four birthday texts went unanswered. Multiple phone calls left unreturned. Finally, we met for coffee to discuss what had happened like mature, college freshman adults.

What began as a Starbucks summit, however, exploded into a shouting match. It was blow after blow and lots of, “YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW.” When the words ran out, we grew quiet and huffed into paper cups; our mutual, definitive scoffs cleared the foam off our drinks that were now cold despite the hot air we’d exchanged. No eye contact was made save for the reflections in our coffee. Two strangers’ ghosts stared back.

There lay Turk and J.D.’s decomposed friendship — unrecognizable beneath murky macchiatos.

With the entire cafe congregation impatiently waiting for some higher being to guide our past out of Starbucks and into the afterlife, I tossed back what remained of my pride from the bottom of a recycled paper chalice.

“Hooch is crazy,” I mumbled.

“Hooch is crazy,” she muttered back, returning the familiar Scrubs responsorial psalm.

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  • Allie Fasanella

    This literally almost made me cry, Mia. I’m on the verge right now. What the hell, this is so frickin sad. That is totally bullshit. Mindy Kaling’s best friend’s right’s and responsibilities says:

    IT IS OKAY TO TAKE ME FOR GRANTED

    “I know when you fall in love with someone you will completely forget about me. That hurts my feelings, but it is okay. Please try to remember to text me, if you can, if you know I have something going on in my life, like a work promotion or something.”

    Wish I could hug you through the computer, dude.

    • DON’T CRY FOR ME, FASANELLA.

      I ended up catching up with her again after our Starbucks debacle. Turns out, her mom (my honorary second mom) had no idea what was going on and was watching simultaneously from the living room window. She nearly bit her head off when she found out that she dumped me.

      Hugs back:

      • Allie Fasanella

        ugh moms rule. i had a similar eyebrow ‘trimming’ situation with my best friend in 8th grade and after my mom saw what she did, she yelled without thinking, “caitlin reilly, you’re grounded!”

  • Kelsey Moody

    Wow, Mia, this caused me to have such a visceral reaction. You perfectly summed up the feeling of growing up, learning from mistakes, and the heartbreak that comes from the frustration of trying to make someone so close to you understand what youre feeling. Why is it so hard for them to see that when they were so good at it before?! The Scrubs references….god bless you, I thought my sister and I were the ONLY ones who actually reference that show…
    http://img.pandawhale.com/80933-Scrubs-EAGLE-gif-JD-Turk-4l6k.gif

    • every time someone says touche I want to say “Touche magic hallway”….u r not alone

    • Thank you so much, Kelsey! The two things that I’m good at are making mistakes and being an amateur at life. Being a good friend and navigating your first love are nearly impossible at 16 years old and my heart breaks for any girls going through the struggle. You can only be kind and hope that they can see that your lady love is a priority even if you don’t know how to show it.

      That GIF makes me feel so many things :’) Never stop referencing. Never stop eagleing.

  • EJS

    This strikes the broken best friend cord in me- especially the Sims reference . I bulldozed our BFF family lot next to Mortimer and Bella Goth’s mansion…. All the money Rosebud;!;!;!;! bought couldn’t cover up that loss.

  • Friendship is really interesting and you could talk about it forever but what it comes down to is: Not everyone is your friend but the ones who are WILL come and go. You are two separate beings. But like any other relationship, you are the friend too.
    This is going to sound terrible but there are certain people in my life who I have purposefully cut contact with because I felt like I was being a horrible friend. I didn’t like the dynamic, I lost interest in the friend, or they became a hassle or annoying and I felt extremely fake. Ah, it sounds so mean to do something like that but it’s an awful truth. If you felt like that about the person you were in a relationship with you would have to end it.

    I have also been completely cold shouldered by a really awesome friend who I loved and she totally broke my heart but there are understandable reasons why it ended.
    Each friendship is it’s own entity. In the past week I have hung out with two friends from high school who I haven’t seen in 5 years and each reunion had it’s own vibe which was really cool.

    ANYWAYS, Mia, this was beautifully written and so cinematic. You’ll always have friends down here in the comments section of MR! We won’t dump you!

    • There’s certainly a difference between burning bridges and cleansing toxic people from your life. Our needs/wants in those we surround ourselves with evolve just as much as we do as individuals. It’s just how life works!

      Thank you, Josie. I truly appreciate your kind words. I love this lil lounge down here with all of you nerds. I’ll brb with some leftover Easter candy for us to share.

  • Aubrey Green

    I had a similar situation a few times throughout my younger and adult life. I had a friend also wanted to break-up with me because I had a boyfriend, even though at 16 I always put her first! She said it was her, not me, which kind of makes me laugh now – she said it had to do with her own insecurities. At 23-27, I lost 2 really good friends over my own break-up with my then husband. I ended my relationship with my husband and these two friends didn’t like who I was as a single woman and the rudeness didn’t really stop at my single ways, it started with other bad behavior on their part – they ended our friendship. The sad truth is, if they don’t want to be with you when you have a boyfriend, or when you don’t, it just wasn’t meant to be and frankly we’re all better off not having a friend in our life that clearly doesn’t have our back. The same rule should apply to the “He’s Just Not That Into You” with our girlfriends too.

  • Kenns

    Mia, I had the exact same reaction as Allie. What amazing and poignant writing and the ending couldn’t be more perfect.

  • Andrea Raymer

    I was just discussing the other day with one of my old friends that everything is different now. We had a really tight-knit friend group in college. There were 6 of us that had a bible study every Thursday night in college and then all of a sudden everything changed. We were all so close and were so open about all of our struggles, then I went away to study abroad and one person was not friends with the rest anymore for a similar reason to Mia’s story.

    Then we all started graduating and moving away, and even though we all have managed to put some of our conflicts behind us our lives are so different now. One of us has a kid, another is practically married and moved to florida, I moved to New York, the rest are dispersed throughout Virginia. We haven’t all been in the same place in a couple years. And while we still go to each other in hard times, and believe me there has been plenty, it isn’t the same. We aren’t a group anymore.

    I’ve almost come to believe that the end of a friendship is almost harder to recover from than the end of a relationship.

    • Lil

      Your last line, I so agree with. I feel like friendships can hurt so much more sometimes because we often expect our friends to really be our friends *forever*.
      With romantic partners, it’s kind of normalized now to not expect a boyfriend to be your Prince Charming/til death do us part.

  • So many feelings, here, and not to minimize the horrible pain of breaking up with a bff (been there, done that, it’s terrrrrible- you captured it perfectly), but now you can go spend at least two thousand dollars on something nice for yourself since you won’t have to put that towards being a bridesmaid in her wedding. Silver lining.

  • This is so sad! I totally feel you on this, as I lost a close friend to a similar situation. It sucks, but there’s not much you can do but move on. I’m glad you guys at least reconnected later, and hopefully can stay in each other’s lives without bitterness, even if you don’t ever become as close as you were before

    http://www.littleblackshell.com

  • Zoe

    I have always wanted to comment here but never have.

    This is incredible. I have said it before (to myself mind you) but this website is my soul sister. This piece is so well written and to be honest, it’s something that isn’t really out there/most websites don’t really talk about. Although not even at the root of a boy (although I mean kind of I guess, but not totally), my best friend dumped me In the last year or so for an entire new friend group and well, it’s been hard. Thank you for writing this piece, and even though, theoretically, I always knew other people went through this, I really appreciate you sharing this vulnerable sort of experience. Really excellent writing.

    • Zoe

      I just read this over. My grammar is terrible today – how embarrassing. Major sos. Forgive me please!!

    • Why did you wait so long to join us, gwurl!? The water’s fine B). Stay strong, dudelet. Although you may feel lonely, you’re not alone. Give your friend their space and your relationship will play out as it was intended in time.

      A wise prophet once said on Xanga: <*"If you catch a butterfly, set it free. Fate will bring it back, if it was meant to be."*

  • Elie

    I’ve been dumped by my BFF too. She did not tell me though. She moved without notice, did not reply to email/ texts, etc. I thought she was sick/ dead. She eventually reappeared a few months back( I had learnt in between from others that she was okay and moved with a guy she had met online…was ready to launch a rescue unit) saying she was fine.
    15 years later, I still don’t know what happened, what did I say/ do that was wrong.
    A few weeks before packing up she was sleeping on my floor( across the hallway from her studio) because we had just watched the 6 th sense together and crossing that hallway was too scary.

    What the heck happened?!!!
    I am sorry you’re going through this now. 🙁

  • Emily

    I’ve given friendships a lot of thought since it used to be a big issue in my long term relationship. I met my boyfriend shortly after we graduated college. He was in a fraternity whereas I never lived (nor wanted to live) with friends. He will drive across state borders to go to a regular house party, whereas I can’t be bothered to leave Manhattan to go to a party in Queens. He resented me that his life no longer revolved around a frat house. I resented him for wanting it to.

    There’s so many movies and shows about a certain type of female friendship (Sex and the City, Bridesmaids, Girls) where the underlying message is that our friends are our soul mates. I’m left feeling like there’s something wrong with me because I’m not this attached or invested in friendships.

  • Grace Ditthardt

    This is just one of those experiences, unfortunately, that are a tough but inevitable part of life. Despite all of the heartbreak, though, I’ve found that the ones who stick around are truly worth it, and it’s better to let the ones who don’t go with grace and understanding.

    I’ve also found out that Starbucks summits almost never go according to plan, and that crying in a Starbucks is not a recommended experience.

  • Nicky

    Agh, Mia… I tiered up a little bit.
    Broke up with girlfriends are the worst. A guy you can get over with time… but when it is your best friend, you are left always wandering what did you do wrong.
    My best friend broke up with me for me just being me. We always knew we were too different but we didnt care, our friendship was gold and that was what kept us together.She was the Jess for my Cece. She wanted me to be something like her: Straight A student at Uni, a good boy by her side and a job. I couldn’t keep up with it. I’m a wild thing. So I was no longer good to be her friend.
    The last day I saw her, I bought her favorite carrot cake at Starbucks in hopes everything will be the same and we would laugh at the bizarre situation… Us? Not talking? … nah, we are best friends. Well, she just tossed it aside… and then I knew it was over man.

    • Nicky

      Sorry about the huge grammatical mistakes you guys. When I get emotional, I lose all my English skills. Plus, English is not my first language.

      • (It’s okay. My Jersey accent comes out strong when I discuss Jay-Z/Beyonce conspiracy theories.)

    • I am an adamant believer (and Belieber) that people enter and exit our lives at a certain time for a reason and that reason sometimes never makes itself evident.

      What is it about Starbucks that gets everyone so emotional? Is it the lighting? The green aprons? Someone plz advise.

  • Jenna Cole

    Earlier this year my bff since the 4th grade and I really grew apart, and now we hardly speak. We want different things now, and have different interests and ideas. When we do talk it’s mostly reminiscing and playing a bit of catch up. We both have new best friends now and it’s so interesting to see the difference between who we decide to spend our time with.

    As we grow up and learn who we are, sometimes it’s necessary to move on. You truly can’t have a lasting long term relationship with someone who doesn’t share the same values as you. Sometimes you have to remove yourself from relationships that no longer add value to your life, and it was definitely difficult and sad at first, but now I can see that we’re both so much better off.

    Growing up can suck, but you just have to do what’s right for you! Don’t waste your time or anyone else’s with things that don’t work or don’t add value.

    Thank you for sharing your BFF falling out story. Now I know I’m not alone!

  • Raquel

    For me, friendship breakups have always been worse than romantic breakups. I’ve always wanted one of those friendships like you see on Girls, where everyone is comfortable discussing everything out in the open, I’ve tried but I guess it’s just not meant to be. When I had a hard time finding a job after college I would hang out with this friend from school, and unfortunately this was during a time when my family cut me out of their lives and I started remembering some specific details about the abuse I suffered as a child. Eventually things turned around for me, and we still hung out, but then, completely unprovoked, she sent me a long email detailing to me how I was broken, perpetuating my own misery, and “people should just get over things that happened over 5 years ago” (and also, that her friends I had never met before agreed with her about me). I no longer seek out friendships.

  • Ok, I never comment but this is something that I have been struggling with! I have an old friend (we’ve know each other since HS) BUT I feel like I am the only one ever putting in any effort (texting/calling) and honestly when we do hang out (once a year) it’s like she is so defensive over her life choices and is constantly on the attack. I try to be understanding and supportive, but am often met with nothing but walls. Honestly, it has gotten really difficult to deal with. So my dilemma, should I break up with her? Or just continue to let it fade?

    • Amelia Diamond

      you should ask Isaac! (email write@manrepeller.com and put “ask isaac” in the subject line.)

      howevz, Commenter Josie Fillat wrote something earlier that I thought was super interesting: “Not everyone is your friend but the ones who are WILL come and go. You are two separate beings.” If she’s been your friend for a while, maybe take a step back. Get some breathing room. Let her collect herself. Wait for her to reach back out to you — not to play “games,” but because she clearly needs to be in a better place, and only she can decide when that is.

  • Ella

    I agree that best friend breakups are so so difficult. I had a similar situation happen to me about a year ago where my best friend completely cut me out of her life as soon as she entered into a relationship. It wasn’t a fade out type situation but completely abrupt. One week we were seeing each other every second day and the next it was nothing. Text messages seemed like I was bothering her, often with no response and it was all seeming very one sided. It was so upsetting because I felt like it had happened out of no where, almost as though it was a conscious decision she had made to curate her life and cut me off completely. I should also note that I had been so excited and encouraging for her to start dating this guy! After a few months of being upset and confused, I began to finally accept the fact that I had lost my best friend for good. We still see each other every now and then and catch up with small talk. However all in all I think my biggest issue was that I didn’t just lose contact with my best friend, but someone I thought of as a sister.

  • Anne-Marie Larson Earl

    I had that same thing happen with my best pal, Stacy, although when she called me out of the blue during our freshman year of college, we let bygones be bygones and acted as if nothing happened (after we both said “sorry,” of course). We remain best friends to this day. Hopefully you two encountered a speed bump, not a road block.

  • Totally feeling the underlying Scrubs story you’ve got going 😀

  • So you guyz, after reading all of your stories and talking with fellow dumpees on Twitter I was inspired to throw together this amateur guide on how to nail getting friend-dumped (obviously illustrated with Scrubs GIFs): http://bit.ly/1No9Qa1

    I hope that it might help anyone who is currently going through the struggle because all of you deserve to feel like this erryday:

  • So guyz, after reading all of your stories and talking with fellow dumpees on Twitter I was inspired to throw together this amateur guide on how to nail getting friend-dumped (obviously illustrated with Scrubs GIFs): http://bit.ly/1No9Qa1

    I hope that it might help anyone who is currently going through the struggle because all of you deserve to feel like this erryday:

    • Guest

      ~0NE HUNNID~

  • lee

    My BFF married my husbabands bazillionaire friend and dumped me for all her rich new pals. Now I see her in my dance class and all I can say is OMG, look at her BUTT!

  • Megan Small

    Rarely do I read writing anywhere online that I enjoy so much. I can tell you consider every nuance language wise. So refreshing.